Australia’s small business software success stories

Leighton Jenkins

I was doing some research recently and came across some Australian software developers working hard at being big, by helping small businesses.

We already have a range of software companies, large and small who develop software locally. MYOB develops accounting software for small and mid-sized companies, as does Reckon through its QuickBooks products.  Further up the chain you might look at Pronto, TechnologyOne and Mincom for ERP style software for mid-sized business to large companies.

These companies are well established, but my initial research popped up three companies serving the SMB market:

  • Remember the Milk
  • SaasU
  • Tall Emu

I am not sure why Australian software companies have to get funky names? Here’s a quick summary of what each provides to a small business.

Remember the Milk

I am not sure if Remember the Milk (RTM) should be categorised as a personal productivity or small business application. I will stretch it here as it’s just a great story, about how a couple of Sydney-siders developed one of the most loved To Do and Task management tools – with over 2 million users!

They did this using the “Cloud” when it was in its infancy. They have not rested on their laurels, with extending task stuff in every direction possible – onto the iPhone or Android, using geographical tagging, from whatever email you use and with a bunch of shortcuts that make repeat tasks a breeze. In addition, you can share projects and tasks amongst team members to ensure that larger projects get done.

Saasu

Saasu is another cloud based application – this time aimed straight at the MYOB heartland – small businesses and their accountants. Saasu already has 10,000 customers in over 50 countries.

Their positioning and messages and mood is that of a new and modern company that develops software for accountants – and many of those are breaking free of the traditional view of accounting firms.  Their positioning versus MYOB and Xero is to offer more functionality at a lower price.

Saasu has also built interfaces into CRM systems, email marketing and Point of Sale for retailing customers. Saasu has developed a partner network to help a small business implement a complete end-to-end solution.

Tall Emu

Bucking the trend is Tall Emu (still a strange name) but this time it’s not a cloud application. Tall Emu is a CRM developer that is focused on small business. However they are doing this by building out through industry specialisation, and end-to-end solutions rather than developing a generic platform.

They create turnkey solutions for needs such as online shopping sites with small business inventory management. They have a specific solution for Wineries (that caught my eye) as well as for financial planners.

Any  others?

So by this cursory glance, it seems that there are companies helping small businesses by developing software. I am sure that there are other companies that are worth looking at, if you have any please let me know by commenting or shoot me an email.

  • http://Www.nominal.com.au Uri

    That’s very interesting post for us
    We develop Australian small business accounting software called nominal
    It competes with myob and qb , which btw is not exactly developed in
    Aus afaik
    Would love it u can check it out

  • http://www.crm-guidebooks.com Leighton Jenkins

    Thanks Uri and also to Kieran via twitter who mentioned Jim2 by Happen Business

  • http://www.irissql.com Rupert Ralston

    Nice article, a focus on accountancy especially mentioning some of the enterprise players we compete against. But how about some of the up and comers that deal with new issues facing Australian businesses such as going social.

    Looking forward to the next article over here at IRIS Leighton.

  • Steph

    WoW you missed Xero.com … rising with a bullet. Beautiful user interface.
    Saasu has more features but is not as elegant

  • http://www.incommand.com.au Katherine

    Hi Leighton,

    Thanks for the article. The inCommand software is well worth looking at on this subject (www.incommand.com.au). It has been developed by InterSoft Computing for small to medium sized businesses. While it is the first software developed by InterSoft with accounting benefits, InterSoft has provided other software to SMEs in the past.

    Hope this is helpful.

  • http://www.AppointmentSMS.com.au Michael

    Nice article Leighton. Another useful one is AppointmentSMS.com.au – it’s a web based service that lets aussie businesses schedule SMS appointment reminders, which greatly reduces no-shows and thereby saves small businesses money.